CHEMO FOR EARLY STAGE BREAST CANCER DOES NOT IMPROVE ODDS OF BEATING THE DISEASE: STUDY

Sep 28, 2015

By Jane Brown

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It’s good news for many women with early-stage breast cancer. A major study suggests they can skip chemotherapy without hurting their odds of beating the disease.

A gene-activity test accurately identified a group of women whose cancers are so likely to respond to hormone-blocking drugs that adding chemo would do little, if any good, while exposing them to side effects and other health risks. In the study, women who skipped chemotherapy based on the test had less than a 1 percent chance of cancer recurring in other organs, such as the liver or lungs, within the next five years.

“You can’t do better than than,” said the study leader Dr. Joseph Sparano of Montefiore Medical Center in New York.

The study was sponsored by the National Cancer Institute. Results were published online today by the New England Journal of Medicine and discussed at the European Cancer Congress in Vienna.

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